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Futsuhiko

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Futsuhiko
Futsuhiko-haruka4artwork
Character Information
Birthday:
April 8
Age:
16
Height:
164 cm (5'5")
Bloodtype:
A
Family:
Father (deceased),
Mother (estranged),
Habarihiko (elder brother)
Occupation:
Michiomi's vassal
Innate Element:
Metal
Celestial Stem: Geng
Weapon(s):
Spear
Dominate Hand:
Right
Hobbies:
Training, playing the kin (archaic stringed instrument)
Habit(s):
Looks to the sky when he's lost to plead for his elder brother's guidance
Favorite Food(s):
War rations
Unfavored Food(s):
"Nothing in particular"
(he struggles with bitter or sour food)
Voice Actor(s):
Soichiro Hoshi
First Appearance: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4

Futsuhiko (布都彦) is one of the main characters in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4. He is technically the first Byakko of Heaven (天の白虎, Ten no Byakko) of the series.

His memories are used to bestow a human trait into the Byakko of Heaven dragon gem, thus influencing the Eight Guardians in later generations of the franchise. His particular trait is "Acceptance" (受け継ぎ, uke-tsugi).

Role in GameEdit

Background StoryEdit

Futsuhiko was born into a family of noble prestige in Chikushi. His father was a prominent magistrate of Nakatsu Kuni who served within the royal court. Futsuhiko's future to follow his father's footsteps seemed certain until one day when he was ten years old. His elder brother had eloped with Ichinohime and mysteriously disappeared with Hiiragi. Those who remained thought that the trio had consummated their selfish desires rather than care for their duties to the country. No one knew that they hoped to stop a future threat to the entire mortal realm.

As the act is considered a grievous crime, Futushiko's house fell into miserable disrepair. His father had been stripped of his titles and thrown out of court. Falling into a severe depression, his father died shortly after. His mother couldn't bear the indignity she had suffered and left to live in a faraway country. To worsen matters for the young Futsuhiko, Nakatsu Kuni itself fell a year later.

Hoping to redeem his family name, Futsuhiko decided to enlist as a soldier amongst Nakatsu Kuni's remnant forces. He relied on his elder brother's friends –the few who believed in Habarihiko's character rather than the rumors about him– and found servitude at Michiomi's station. The young warrior endured in his training and duties to eventually become Michiomi's trusted aide.

Story EventsEdit

After Chihiro eludes a spiritual possession from the Black Dragon, she is isolated from her allies and falls unconscious within the mysterious fog of Chikushi. Futsuhiko happened to be on patrol and carries her back to Michiomi's headquarters. She awakens soon after, and Michiomi quickly identifies her as the lost princess of Nakatsu Kuni. At Michiomi's behest, Futsuhiko swears his immediate loyalty to her. He escorts his superior and the princess through the foggy terrain to reunite her with her allies. The young soldier informs them that the fog is a supernatural irregularity for Chikushi.

Since their flying ship refuses to fly, Chihiro and company decide to investigate the cause of the fog to restore peace for the common folk. When Hiiragi approaches them to offer his loyalties, Futsuhiko remains supportive of the strategist's recommendations despite Oshihito's protests. Once they arrive in the western mountains, he confirms for the party that Hiiragi's observations are trustworthy. They dispatch the violent spirit which is causing the disturbance and they earn Byakko's blessings. The tiger deity's power within him inspires Futsuhiko to renew his pledge to Chihiro.

Futsuhiko remains one of Chihiro's constant allies throughout the different timelines. When the White Dragon destroys the world, he finally realizes that his brother's decision to resist the dragon gods' will was a just cause for humanity. He assists the fight to reclaim the mortal realm. In the final timeline he is captain of the palace guard, and he trains recruits in his elder brother's absence. Futsuhiko has no memories of Kazahaya, therefore he is genuinely confused when Chihiro mentions that she is forgetting someone.

Personal RouteEdit

Chihiro walks in on Futsuhiko's training sessions in order to learn more about him. He confesses his eagerness to train is fueled by patriotism, formally sharing his beliefs in Chihiro's position. The princess is encouraged by his enthusiasm for improvement and feels inspired to persevere in her duties to the parallel world. When she wants to refine her archery, she asks Futsuhiko for assistance. Although he at first instructs her from afar, Futsuhiko successfully tutors her by closing the distance between them to reposition her bow's aim. Together with Nagi, the duo later find the divine arrow, Ame-no-Habaya, near the spot where they trained. The arrow is known in legends to have destroyed the "Bloodied Serpent". Futsuhiko cleaves the evil spirits surrounding the arrow and gives it to Chihiro for safe keeping.

During their journey through Izumo, the formalities Futsuhiko displays towards Chihiro gradually abates. He becomes friendly to her in his reports and is comfortable being near her. When she helps pull an eyelash from his eye, Yuugiri teases that it looked as though the couple were going to kiss. Embarrassed by the jest, Futsuhiko is reminded of his brother's affair with Ichinohime and the negative consequences of their trysts. The event was a pressing trauma for him, feeling that romance between him and Chihiro is forbidden. He keeps brooding over these thoughts in private as the story progresses.

War breaks out in Izumo and Chihiro's party is targeted by the Tokoyo no Kuni forces. Overwhelmed by the larger enemy forces, the Nakatsu Kuni troops who travel with Chihiro are separated for their uniformed escape. A portion of the troops are heavily surrounded during Chihiro's flight; Hiiragi insists that she honor their sacrifices and continue fleeing. Since they are near their path, the princess can't bring herself to abandon them and hurries alone to save them. Futsuhiko is moved by her virtuous cause and volunteers to come to her rescue. His might is enough to cut through the hundreds of enemy soldiers surrounding them, opening a path for the isolated battalion.

Before Chihiro and company can reunite with their allies, Asvin blocks their path and challenges them. It is nightfall, and the troops are exhausted by the afternoon spent fighting. Even so, Futsuhiko duels the general to defend Chihiro's honor. When Asvin effortlessly gains the upper hand against the tired youth, a vexed Chihiro pleads for someone to help them. Her thoughts are answered by the Black Dragon, who is hovering above them as a wistful observer. As she subconsciously pleads for help to save those important to her, the dragon god answers by conjuring a ferocious storm and raining fire from the sky. People from both armies are killed in the divine onslaught, an act which the Black Dragon cryptically claims is but a fraction of Chihiro's wishes for victory. Shocked by the disastrous affair and placing blame on herself, Chihiro cuts her hair to mourn those who lost their lives after their retreat. Futsuhiko tries approaching her as she cries, but she is too lost in her thoughts to notice him.

Following the grisly end of the Izumo confrontation, the flying ship takes Chihiro and company to Kumano. Sainokimi deems that it is imperative to restore the people's hopes and advises a spiritual cleansing for the princess. After doing so, the elderly woman wants her to accept the dragon god from Izumo as soon as possible. Chihiro expresses doubt in the dragon god's intentions, a belief which solidifies when the troops press onwards to reclaim the capital, Kashihara. She is overwhelmed in her duel with the enemy general, Mudgala, and Futsuhiko once again comes to her defense. As Mudgala beats Futsuhiko and contemplates sparing them, the Black Dragon appears before Chihiro again and distorts her wishes for protection into those for destruction. The souls of Mudgala's soldiers become corrupted, and the mad soldiers butcher Mudgala alive. The Tokoyo no Kuni threat ends with his death.

Sainokimi pressures the princess to accept the dragon god immediately, but Chihiro defies her. She fires a yang charged arrow at the Black Dragon and wounds it, causing the deity's retreat. Since Sainokimi has painstakingly convinced the populace that the Black Dragon is the dragon god of legend, she feigns disappointment in the princess's actions. She privately confesses to Chihiro that she senses the dragon god's malevolence, yet she places importance on restoring the country's icon rather than her personal intuition. Sainokimi orders for the princess to be placed into solitary confinement to reflect on her actions.

Throughout the affair, Futsuhiko is torn between his feelings for Chihiro and his sincerity for his duty. He is unsure of who to trust in the situation. On one hand, Chihiro may have been justified in her claims of the dragon god's belligerence, and he wants to help her. Yet his duty demands that he place importance on protecting the country's royal legacy. Sainokimi is aware of his intimacy for Chihiro and places him into her admission. She uses his brother as an example of what may come if he chooses to act on emotion rather than reason. Obeying her commands with wavering self-esteem, Futsuhiko asks Sazaki and company to leave the palace gates and repeats Sainokimi's wishes for Chihiro to accept the dragon god.

As he talks with the princess, she affirms her beliefs are resolute and she will never change them. True to her words, she pays no heed to the outrage which arises during her second attack on the dragon god. When Sainokimi orders him to detain her, Futsuhiko is moved by her determination and confidence. Compelled to follow her example of following his heart, he instead assists Chihiro's escape. As they avoid their pursuers, Futsuhiko apologizes for his hesitation and thanks Chihiro for instilling him with bravery. With his knowledge, the couple elude capture and rest the night within a small horse stable. As he protectively watches over her slumbering figure, Futsuhiko begins to appreciate his brother's memory and the love affair he had with Ichinohime.

Oshihito and company find them the next morning, and the party rushes to reunite with their allies in Kashihara. As they near the capital's gates, they sense the curse cast by Sainokimi who is trying to contain the Black Dragon by herself. Chihiro doesn't blame the elderly woman for her actions and rushes to rescue her. The deity belittles their attempts to defeat him and unleashes its crushing powers onto Chihiro. Fighting the Black Dragon's influence, both she and Futsuhiko help one another to fire Ame-no-Habaya from her bow. It strikes true and causes the deity's withdraw from this timeline. Following the deity's defeat, Chihiro becomes Queen and restores peace to her country. Futsuhiko remains faithfully beside her, happily being her companion for her personal breaks. During one of their dates, he endearingly swears to devote his feelings and loyalty to her.

In his epilogue scenario, Futsuhiko requests for Chihiro to join him in the village at nightfall. When she arrives, he informs her that a festival for lovers is being held for a single night. Status and etiquette are ignored for attendees, so he freely speaks his honest love for her without addressing her by title. He recites one of the love poems he composed for her.

His Aizouban extra event takes place two months after Futsuhiko has been made leader of the royal guard. Chihiro hasn't seen him since his promotion and is feeling lonely without his presence. Ayuki is concerned for her and attempts to cheer her up by retelling the many security measures Futsuhiko has done with his new position. The queen feels distressed that Ayuki seems to know more about Futsuhiko than herself yet brightens when Ayuki explains his current whereabouts. He has completed the troop's training and must give his report to Oshihito in the general's quarters. Chihiro thanks him for the news and hurries to meet midway Futsuhiko with a heart full of glee. When they do meet, however, the queen is too flustered by Futsuhiko's professionalism to express her joy in words. The soldier feels she has no errand for him and excuses himself in an orderly manner to continue his duties.

While Chihiro mopes, Futsuhiko delivers his report. He is surprised when Tooya teleports into the room and makes eye contact with him. The Tsuchigumo's thoughts are explained to the reader as he wishes to ease Chihiro of her sorrow; he deems Futsuhiko as the only one capable of curing her melancholy. Tooya's words cannot reach Futsuhiko's ears who looks at him with earnest confusion. Oshihito correctly interprets Tooya's gestures to mean that someone is crying, and Nagi has to identify for them that he means Chihiro. He is disgruntled that he needs to explain to the dumbfounded Futsuhiko that Chihiro is sad because he is ignoring her. Only then does it hit the soldier; he is determined to make amends and asks his comrades for their input. Nagi suggests acting like Sazaki; Oshihito advices swearing his loyalty to his queen and waiting for the results; Tooya scribbles a character onto Futsuhiko's hand which he interprets will make Chihiro happy. Futsuhiko ruminates over the contrasting approaches until Chihiro enters. Nagi tells her to see the viola blooming outside the palace to ease her mind and Futsuhiko offers to be her escort. Tooya gives them riceballs to enjoy as a snack before they depart.

The couple walk in silence towards their destination. After some distance, Futsuhiko awkwardly imitates Sazaki to break the ice. Upon seeing Chihiro's confusion, he curses his ineptitude for making her smile. It begins to rain soon after so he hurriedly escorts the queen into a nearby cavern for shelter. Since the downpour will keep them stationed there for some time, Futsuhiko remembers about the riceballs and is disheartened to see them ruined. Chihiro understands that he was in a rush to find the cavern before the downpour and forgives him, yet the soldier agonizes over his failure to gratify her and pleads for her immediate punishment. Chihiro breaks into laughter over his seriousness, confessing that she is happy simply knowing how much he still thinks about her. His actions were enough to rekindle her affections for him. Since he insists on being punished, she jokingly asks him to imitate Sazaki again. Futsuhiko feels the character Tooya had written for him is unneeded but still scribbles it with his finger onto Chihiro's cheek. He is unaware that he wrote the character "love".

Since the rain stops, they emerge from the cavern to return home. Before Chihiro can turn to smile at him, Futsuhiko embraces her. He explains that he has been indulged with his duties with the hopes of removing the errors on his past record and to one day becoming someone prestigious enough to marry her. He asks for her patience for the near future when he will come to ask for her hand.

Character InformationEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Futsuhiko's namesake is the legendary sword, Futsunomitama (布都御魂). "Futsu" is thought to be onomatopoeia for a swinging sword. It has been argued to be the manifestation of a deity or to have been wielded by the aforementioned deity to pacify the chaos in Nakatsu Kuni. Following his prayers for his eastern expedition, Emperor Jinmu found Futsunomitama in the mountains of Kumano. It has the power to effortlessly dispel evil spirits and to instantly drive wild deities back. Futsunomitama was used to claim a swift victory for Emperor Jinmu's forces. The idea of Futsuhiko finding Chihiro within the thicket of fog is a homage of how Emperor Jinmu discovered the sword.

His character is one of the earliest to be approved for finalization during the project's conception. Developers wanted him to be a character who shares Chihiro's feelings of losing an elder sibling yet is sensitive to her status as a princess.

PersonalityEdit

Futsuhiko is a young man who is a staunch believer in justice. He would gladly rescue any soul who he sees suffering, disregarding circumstance and pretexts for protecting the weak. If a maiden was seen in distress, Futsuhiko would gladly hurry to her assistance. The code of righteousness and chivalry dictated to him has been ingrained into his blood: he feels that it's natural to be fair to his fellow man. As a faithful believer in his disciplines, he feels it's necessary to train daily and accept any criticisms given to him for improvement. He especially idolizes the advice of his seniors (Oshihito, Michiomi, and Hiiragi) and treats them with utmost respect. He is well aware of his inexperience in battle and longs for the days to prove himself as a worthy soldier, even though many soldiers within his circle already applaud his commitment and stalwart dedication. He conducts himself with all the dresses of formality he can remember, speaking politely with the tone of yore and addressing everyone as "Miss" or "Sir" at all times.

Since he is eternally focused on his duties and teachings, he is modest with anything else beyond his scope. Futsuhiko often doesn't understand sarcasm and is confused by anything containing a double entendre. Futsuhiko may even address a common day problem with the decorum of knight and, though he is trying to be sweet with the best of intentions, he may instead misinterpret or complicate matters. If he is to realize his fault in judgment –regardless of how severe or minor it may have been– Futsuhiko will label his mistake as proof of his inexperience and insist on remedying it with more training. Believing that he is to avoid showing discomfort as a part of his training, Futsuhiko may attempt to bury it by grinning and bearing it. His honesty, however, makes him a poor liar. He is often not aware of his own innocent naivety, and he is embarrassed if his elders are to tease him about it.

The life of a patriotic soldier is the only one Futsuhiko has known. If his superiors were to order him to war, he would obey. His emotions are forbidden from meddling with his commands. Everything has an absolute answer to him, whether it be on matters of conduct or with marching into battle. So the fact that Habarihiko betrayed the very code he lives by has shaken Futsuhiko. The trauma he has experienced with the fall of his family has engraved his brother's departure as sinful treason. He inwardly swears to never follow in his footsteps, thinking that his childhood idol has abandoned him. Even so, a small part of Futsuhiko still wants to believe in his sibling and the good will he once shared with him. Futsuhiko privately struggles with these conflicting thoughts every time someone compares him to Habarihiko.

It is the same dilemma which rears its head when he becomes aware of his attraction for Chihiro. His love for her conflicts with everything he has been taught to believe, and he fears repeating the same sin as his brother. Futsuhiko's admiration for her kindness and valor is what draws him near her, both sharing a close relationship with one another as like-minded comrades of justice. Yet he feels their differences in status is the wedge that drives them apart. Falling back on his teachings, he insists that his love for her is wrong and improper. Futsuhiko struggles to finalize his resolution, however, when Chihiro continues to approach him with her unabashed trust as a friend and loved one. His doubts are dispelled when she inspires him to do the most dangerous thing possible for a soldier on duty: think for himself. He feels eternal gratitude for her honesty and strength. During his epilogue scenario, he is surprisingly open about his genuine affections for her and finally dismisses status by uttering her name.

Character SymbolismEdit

Futsuhiko's symbolic color is aotake-iro, a soft shade of green. Its namesake is the dark shades found in tall and healthy bamboo, a plant which is often tied to longevity or divine purity. Aotake-iro is also an accepted color to symbolize young men and their inner conflict for maturity. In other words, it is a visual representation of the informal term greenhorn.

His symbolic flower is the double bridal wreath. It has two different archaic names in Japan, each thought to have led to its different symbolic meanings within the flower language. One of them translates as "hanging bells" in reference to the flowers' clumped formations on its branches. It has been often used in gardens during ancient times and thus was loved for its branches' delicate arcing shape. Since the plant remained sturdy and could be easily cut and replenished, the flowers are said to represent one's elegance.

The other archaic name is literally dango-hana, or "dumpling flower". This draws from later eras like the Edo period, in which the early budding flowers were comparable to the small white confectionery. It is an argued representation of the flower mentioned in the proverb, "dumplings over flowers", which signifies the preference for simplicity (dumpling) rather than aesthetic complexity (flower). The name is thought to be the basis of its meaning of effort within the flower language.

The double bridal wreath's contemporary Japanese name is literally translated as "tiny hands", as a reference to the many small flowers growing along its branches. This interpretation is thought to have led to its common flower meaning of friendship. Its flowering branches during spring is alternatively said to mirror the blossoming of young people's hearts.

QuotesEdit

  • "I am Futsuhiko, and I shall not run or hide! Have at thee!"
  • "A golden opportunity for you to face my spear!"
  • "I shall not be merciful."
  • "I will repay this debt."
  • "Dargh, I must train harder...!"
  • "Hold out for a moment longer! I shall be there to assist!"
  • "I dedicate this victory to you, Milady."
  • "Princess, I pray your arrow pierces the heavens."
  • "I have never realized how beautiful Milady is as she fights..."
  • "You shall not suffer the shame of defeat as long as I am near."
  • "Never fear, Princess. I shall always await your command."
  • "Brother... what am I to do?"
  • "Even if these feelings are a sin, I want to be your strength. I want to keep protecting you."
  • "These peaceful days of spring reminds me of the past, back when I felt I needed to choose between my loyalty and love. After many days of thought, I realized I could not abandon either one of them. I wanted to give everything I have, everything, to you."
  • "Princess, I am familiar with our current surroundings. I can serve as your escort."
"Okay then."
"Ah, wait wait, Futsuhiko. We have to do something about the way you address her. You too, Hiiragi, Oshihito... and I think Sazaki. I don't mind how you do it elsewhere, but we can't have you blowing our cover by calling her "Princess" in front of Izumo's lord."
"B-B-But then, how else shall I address our princess?"
"Just call me Chihiro. That's what everyone else does."
"Wha-What!? I could never-! I am her sworn retainer! I-I cannot speak something so, so... phi-philogynous!"
"Philo what now?"
~~Futsuhiko, Chihiro, and Kazahaya
  • "If a reasonable heart was there to extinguish the passions of youth, perhaps tragedy could have been avoided. That conclusion can be deduced with simple logic. Yet, he... Habarihiko merely lived for those he loved. I don't think there is any reason to lay blame on him."
"Even if it as you say, it cannot wash away my brother's sin."
"You say it's sinful then. Then tell me, Futsuhiko. Is that truly your honest opinion?"
"I cannot say for sure... But the fact remains. The consequences of his actions only burdened others."
"So this is your perception of reality..."
~~Hiiragi and Futsuhiko

Fighting StyleEdit

Futsuhiko's stats focus on being physically offensive. His AI favors using his All-out Strike in most battles. The skill is powerful and arguably one of the strongest attacks in the game, but it is also a draining and risky attack for him during early chapters. It might be wise for the player to level it up as soon as possible to cancel its negative effects. He is an ideal character to bring along for grinding elements due to his Good Fortune and Protection abilities. Be weary of magic-casting foes if he is in the party; they may prove troublesome for him due to his low magic stat and lack of healing magic.

Futsuhiko can boost his vitality, defense, magic power, speed, and will power to Level 5 within the menu screen. Here are his optimized stats:

Attack - 91
Defense - 86
Magic - 76
Speed - 88

Special AbilitiesEdit

The following lists other abilities Futsuhiko can learn by using the Five Elements the party gathers.

Name Maximum Level Cost Description
Counter
(反撃, hangeki)
5 none (passive) If Futsuhiko dodges an attack, he may counterattack with a normal strike. Higher levels increases the likelihood of his counter. Only activated against physical attacks.
All-out Strike
(暗闇付与, konshin no issen)
5 30 Will Ignores elemental properties for a powerful strike. However, Futsuhiko's attack power will be lowered afterwards. Higher levels shortens the skill's negative effects.
Power of Allies
(仲間の力, nakama no chikara)
5 none (passive) Futsuhiko's attributes increase based on the number of party members supporting one another against a single target. Bonus effect increases based on the ability's level.
War Cry
(気合, kiai)
5 5 Will Lowers enemies' speed. Effectiveness increases based on the skill's level.
Opposite Element Tolerance
(相克耐性, soukoku taisei)
5 none (passive) Lessens damage from Fire elemental attacks in battle.
Darkness Resistance
(暗闇耐性, kurayami taisei)
5 none (passive) Increases tolerance to darkness (blinding) status ailment. Dissipates at quicker rate at early levels, completely removes the ailment when maximized.
Protection
(守護, shugo)
5 none (passive) Heals party's health as the protagonist moves around on the world map. Higher levels increases the restoration rate.
Good Fortune
(幸運, kouun)
5 none (passive) If Futsuhiko is in the battle party, the Elements and bonds earned with each victory increases. Higher levels boosts the additional benefits.
Awakening
(覚醒, kakusei)
3 none (passive) Increases likelihood of critical hits when he attacks normally.
Whisper
(ささやき,sasayaki)
5 5 Will Asks Futsuhiko to speak his thoughts for Chihiro aloud. Can only be used in the menu screen outside battle and events. Higher levels can be earned based on the player's progress in his story mode.

MagicEdit

Here are the spells Futsuhiko can cast in the game.

  • Kouha Zan (光破斬) - Moderate Metal magic. Can only perform when Chihiro is not in the party.
  • Kaiei Kyouha (界映鏡破) - Stronger Metal magic. Requires Chihiro to be in the party.
  • Tenshou Koushou (天衝光槍) - Strong Metal magic on a single target. Build four star bonds with Chihiro.
  • Byakko Shoukan (白虎召喚) - Summons Byakko to hit all enemies. Usable after Chapter 3. Chihiro must have Futushiko and Hiiragi in the party with two stars of affection.
  • Gouryu Gekiha (轟流撃波) - Strong Water magic which hits all enemies. Must have Chihiro and Oshihito in the party. Chihiro must talk to Oshihito in Chapter 4 and must have two stars of affection with these characters to unlock it.
  • Soukyu Senou (蒼穹閃桜) - Strong Wood magic which hits all enemies. Must have Chihiro, Nagi, and Tooya in the party. Chihiro must talk to Nagi in Chapter 4 and must have two stars of affection with these characters to unlock it.

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